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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Fever Crumb book review

fever crumb full cover

I wasn't really sure what I was expecting when I began my read of Fever Crumb.

What book could live up to the brilliance of the Mortal Engines quadrillogy / quartet?

What book could capture the magic of that world with a completely new set of characters?

Does Philip Reeve still have the midas touch?

We'll he must have because Fever Crumb spawned two further sequels so let's see how he went eh?

PLOT SPOILERS FOLLOW

Fever Crumb is tale of Fever Crumb, a young female Engineer lost in a sea of male Engineers.

Found, abandoned as a baby in basket, it would seem to obvious to suggest that Fever is some kind of Moses for the grounded city of London.

Set against a back drop of a past history when Scriven ruled London and the people are still recovering from that domination, Fever must help Kit Solent discover the secrets of his archaeological dig.

That name Kit Solent.

When I read that, my heart sank a little as I thought I knew who that's gentleman eventually becomes.

Shrike.

Which made me wonder just where the hell this story was going to take us, and what would become of Solent's delightful children Ruan and Fern?

The discovery of Shrike's actual origin was quite a wonderful moment and as a consequence of being the Shrike, this particular story arc is the only real direct connection to the original novels and that works quite well, meaning the story of Fever Crumb can be told without any consequence to the original stories.

Reeve actually packs a lot of detail into the first 50 pages of this novel. While it's a new world within the old world, its place feels quite natural in the scheme of things.

The more I read of this book, the more I feel it's come into its own story about Fever and the history of her family that she is slowly discovering. The fact it's set in the beginning of the Traction Era has little influence on the story but it is nice to be 'in on' the history that has led to the city of London becoming the monstrous giant size it had attained by the events of the original Mortal Engines.

A slow middle which gives the main characters a chance to get their bearings, set up some plot points gives way to a strong ending where all the threads of the story come together quite nicely - something which Reeve does quite well across the entire series.

Reeve's inventive use of the English language where he uses the term 'blogger' as a swear word was a lot of fun. All the usual puns and references to our modern world are there which all add up to classic Reeve.

I do feel that if this is the first Mortal Engines novel you read, you might not be as thrilled with the tale as you would if you had not read about Tom and Hester's adventures prior. Given that Reeve has said the books should be read in the order he wrote them, this makes a lot of sense.

I am greatly looking forward to the sequel, A Web of Air.

Order Fever Crumb from Book Depository or Amazon.

A drawing of Bagman Creech, a character from the novel:

bagman creech from the fever crumb novel


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